Do Personal Finance Bloggers Buy Lottery Tickets?

by Team Dinks on March 21, 2012 · 7 comments

Tino at Big Lottery Winners(Guest Post by Tino)

You’re in for a treat DINKS because I’ve got quite an amazing story to share with you. Here’s the story. It all began recently when I was in a convenience store doing some shopping. That’s when, out of the corner of my eye I saw a masked man walk in. It was one of those ski masks that cover your entire face, save for the eyes and mouth. Scary. I was thinking a robbery was just about to go down. I was preparing for the worst and getting ready to jump into action (I’m not the type to run if the store clerk were to get into trouble).

The masked man walked toward the counter. I slowly, but cautiously made my way there too. My fight or flight manifestations began to kick in. My fists were clenched. My heart was pounding. Then the man opened his mouth. He began to speak. I expected to hear him say something like, “This is a hold-up, give me all your money.” But he didn’t say that. He said, “I’ll take two Powerball tickets, please.”

What?!? Two Powerball tickets? Please? I just had to ask. What’s up with the mask, dude? He was, like, “Sorry to scare you. You see, I’m a personal finance blogger and have often publicly blogged against buying lottery tickets. Lottery tickets are a waste of money, you know? But I still want to win, so I sometimes buy some. You have to understand that, because of my stance against buying lottery tickets, I couldn’t possibly risk someone seeing me buy one.” Ya, I get it… Personal finance bloggers shouldn’t buy lottery tickets.

Who Was This Masked Blogger?

I wasn’t able to coax the man into telling me who he was. He could have been one of any number of personal finance bloggers. There’s a lot of them, you know?

OK, OK, I’ll admit it now. My story didn’t really happen; it was tongue-in-cheek. I just wanted to get your attention so that I could talk about one of my favorite topics and a topic that just happens to be taboo with a lot of personal finance bloggers – The lottery.

Personal Finance Bloggers And The Lottery

Why is buying a lottery ticket taboo with a lot of personal finance bloggers? Many reasons. First of all, personal finance is all about saving money, earning money, smart investing, making good financial decisions, retiring comfortably, and the like. Where does buying lottery tickets fit into all of this? It doesn’t. Just consider these many possible reasons:

  • The odds of you getting hit by lightning are better than they are of you winning the jackpot
  • Lotteries are considered a tax on the poor by some people, since the poor buy proportionately more tickets
  • Lotteries are designed to pay back only about 50% in prizes, so you’re bound to lose in the long-run
  • Lotteries are a form of gambling, which creates addicts that go broke buying tickets

And so, personal finance bloggers will say that you’re a fool if you buy lottery tickets. You know something… I agree, to a certain point. I agree that you’re a fool if you spend too much money on lottery tickets, money that you can’t afford to spend. If you buy a ticket or two here and there, my opinion is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I mean, that’s just $1 or $2 for entertainment purposes. You buy a ticket and that allows you to dream about the possibilities for a few days, the possibilities of you actually beating the odds and winning. I consider that good entertainment value.

What Percentage Of Personal Finance Bloggers Buy Lottery Tickets?

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that most personal finance bloggers have, at least, bought lottery tickets in the past. I’d further fathom that at least 50% play on a regular basis but, just like the masked blogger buying lottery tickets in disguise, they don’t readily admit it. After all, we all want to be rich, even the PF bloggers, right?

Guest post by Tino, a lottery blogger over at Big Lottery Winners.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Monevator March 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

I sometimes buy lottery tickets. Not much, just a £1 (c. $1.60) stake at a time.

You’re not buying to win, you’re buying to be ‘in it’.

I buy maybe 10 a year, and it’s a tiny indulgence that stops me feeling I’m missing out. I tend to do it when there’s what we call a ‘rollover’ here in the UK, so the prize pot is much higher than normal. I feel that is my nod to understanding the mathematics. ;)

2 Michelle March 21, 2012 at 8:20 am

I have bought lottery tickets before, but not in awhile. Sometimes it’s just nice to dream!

3 Emily @ evolvingPF March 21, 2012 at 8:42 am

I’ve never bought a lottery ticket. I don’t gamble. (Not a religious stance – an I-don’t-want-to-waste-my-money stance.)

4 Daisy March 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

I buy them a few times a year. At Christmas (I put them in stockings) and sometimes when I’m having a good day. I never win more than $8, but that’s okay.

5 Jeremy @ Modest Money March 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

Once in a while I will buy a lottery ticket, but not on a regular basis at all. It is a pretty small price to pay for the entertainment and potential to win big. I know I’ve wasted a lot more money on worse entertainment.

6 Tino March 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

Jeremy, that’s the way I look at it… A small price to pay for entertainment. I love being entertained, damnit! And if I win, There’ll be a lot more entertaining :)

7 Dave @ DebtBlackHole April 5, 2012 at 8:58 am

I only buy them when there are huge jackpots. Maybe two or three times a year. I’d probably spend that $5 on something else stupid anyway…so why not enjoy the dream for a day or two?

To me, it’s no different than the one or two trips I make to a casino over the year. It’s all for entertainment…but I actually spend LESS on the lottery tickets.

I doubt that $20 is going to be the deciding factor whether I have to eat dog food, ramen noodles or lobster every night during retirement.

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